Representatives of USAID and IOM Azerbaijan visit the shelters and hotline center for victims of trafficking

Baku - On 19 May 2021, representatives of the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited the shelter for victims of trafficking (VoTs) of the Main Department on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (CT Main Department) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The representatives, in particular, Vladimir Gjorgjiev, Chief of IOM Azerbaijan, Ms Dhulce-Janice McGuire, USAID Office Director, Mr Mike Henning, Political Adviser, USAID Washington Office, Mr Parviz Musayev, USAID Senior Project Management Specialist, Ms Ersilia Apreda, IOM Project Coordinator, and Ms Nargiz Karimova, IOM Chief Project Assistant, were received by Mr Hazi Aslanov, Head of at the Main Department on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, who together with the Coordinator of the shelters provided information on the work of the shelters and services provided to victims.

The shelter is located in Baku and it is open since 2006. As of today, the shelter assisted over 1,000 victims of trafficking, nationals and internationals. The shelter main objective is to provide safe accommodation and measures for rehabilitation and reintegration to VoTs as well as international migrant VoTs waiting for their repatriation, and witnesses who provided proofs and participates in the investigations. The shelter has a capacity of 50 beds and offers its services to women, girls, men and boys. The assistance services include temporary accommodation, food and clothes provision, psychological and physical care as well as vocational trainings and capacity building activities. The shelter also relies on other civil society organizations (CSOs) collaboration to support the assistance provided to victims. Every year the shelters aid to approximately 100 victims of trafficking.

During the same days, the representatives of IOM Azerbaijan and USAID also visited the hotline centre also located in Baku. The hotline aims at providing persons with relevant information on the services available, refer potential cases to law enforcement agencies and also provides possible psychological aid. The hotline is operative 7/7 days 24h and the personnel is composed by four people. The centre has an online system collecting information about calls and the information received. Due to the high number of calls received, the hotline is under renewal with a new online system enable the personnel to screen the calls in more details.

Mr Vladimir Gjorgjiev, Chief of IOM Azerbaijan also confirmed the availability of the Agency to provide support to the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (NAP4) 2020-2024 of the Government of Azerbaijan providing technical assistance to the actors concerned. In particular, IOM will extend the invitation to capacity building activities to the personnel of the shelter and the hotline centre in the framework of the “Counter-Trafficking in Persons Activity Project” funded by USAID.